Sunday, January 4, 2009

Franken Ahead By 225 Votes

Yesterday, Al Franken pulled dramatically ahead in the recount of the Minnesota Senate race. Norm Coleman is now faced with the decision to either sue and contest the entire election, or to finally face reality and admit defeat. I wonder if he's both arrogant enough, and stupid enough, to try and do that. Certainly, the local and national pundits don't think he can win:

TPM Election Central:
Today's events in Minnesota make it appear that a Norm Coleman victory is now pretty much impossible -- and it just so happens to have occurred on the day his Senate term officially expired. A nice extra touch.

Election officials today counted through about 950 absentee ballots that both campaigns agreed had been wrongly rejected, completing the recount unless there is any new court intervention. The result: Al Franken's paper-thin lead of 49 votes has now jumped to 225 votes -- way beyond what most people crunching the numbers expected, based on the geographic spread of the newly-counted ballots.

The results of the additional absentee ballots give the Franken campaign continued momentum and make it more difficult for Coleman’s campaign to overturn the results in a post-recount challenge. The 225-vote margin is more than many observers expected Franken to have at this stage.

Indeed, even if some of the Coleman campaign claims regarding double-counted ballots and missing ballots were resolved in their favor, Coleman still would likely be trailing Franken.

It looks like it's just about over for Normie. Even Powerline is giving up on my favorite carpetbagger:
Given the magnitude of Franken's lead at this point, in excess of the 130 or so votes that are at issue with respect to duplicate ballots disputed by the Coleman campaign and reserved by the Supreme Court for an election contest, I wonder whether Senator Coleman may now choose not to file an election contest following the declaration of Franken as the winner of the recount on Monday.

Either way, Minnesota is down a senator today, as Coleman's term expired on Saturday. I agree with some other local bloggers that Norm should give up and concede. Norm, listen to Marshall Helmberger, and for once in your life, do the right thing!

I also agree with Chuck Schumer that the Senate should seat Al on Tuesday when the 111th Congress convenes. I make no apologies for this. I'm tired of playing pattycake with the GOP. President Obama can be the Great Conciliator--and I hope that he will be--but as for me, I plan on breaking my progressive Democratic foot off in some elephant butt, every time they try to obstruct us from rebuilding this nation. Let John Cornyn bluster; call his bluff, I say. Make him reveal the GOP obstructionist agenda right from the start. It's time to start teaching the Repugs that things have changed.

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